You may have found yourself asking questions about hemp oil for dogs lately, especially as the use of hemp oil and hemp products in general begins to become more common. The first step to helping your dog is understanding how hemp oil could be beneficial, how it’s made, and how to speak with your veterinarian about introducing hemp oil as a supplement to your dog’s diet. Yet, that still leaves an important question unanswered…
So… What is Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs?
Hemp seed oil for dogs is an oil derived from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. This oil is made specifically to use on dogs, for dogs, and in many instances hemp seed oil is used as a dietary supplement aimed at helping your pet with some aspect of it's health. Due to its ease of introduction into a dog’s diet (all you need to do is give them the recommended dosage provided by your veterinarian), it’s a very tempting quality of life upgrade you can introduce to your dog.
Hemp seed oil does not contain psychoactive substances, ensuring that hemp oil is focused on being a supplement to your dog’s diet. Hemp seed oil is not designed nor intended to make your dog feel “high” of any kind. Hemp Seed Oil can have many uses and focuses, from potentially calming your dog's behavior down to potentially easing stiff joints.
Is Hemp Seed Oil Psychoactive?
No, hemp seed oil is not psychoactive. Hemp seed oil is made from the seeds of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), which does not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. The edible seeds are actually listed by the FDA as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) food. Hemp plants are specifically cultivated to have low THC levels, meaning that the resulting hemp seed oil does not produce any intoxicating or psychoactive effects when consumed. Instead of making dogs feel “high”, hemp seed oil is valued for its potential nutritional benefits and potential therapeutic properties, offering a range of health-supporting compounds such as essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
How is Hemp Seed Oil Made?
Hemp seed oil is typically made through a process called cold-press extraction. Here's a brief overview of how hemp seed oil is made:
- Step 1 - Harvesting: Hemp seeds are harvested when they have reached maturity. The plants are carefully selected to ensure they meet stringent quality standards for oil production.
- Step 2 - Cleaning: The harvested hemp seeds are thoroughly cleaned to remove any debris or impurities, ensuring a pure end product.
- Step 3 - Grinding and Shelling: The cleaned hemp seeds undergo a grinding process to break them down into smaller pieces. This step helps expose the seed kernels for efficient oil extraction. The outer shell, or hull, of the hemp seeds, is then removed through a shelling process.
- Step 4 - Cold-Press Extraction: The shelled hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, are subjected to a cold-press extraction method. This involves applying pressure to the seeds without the use of heat or chemicals. The pressure squeezes the oil out of the seeds while retaining the beneficial nutrients and compounds.
- Step 5 - Filtration: Once the oil is extracted, it goes through a filtration process to remove any remaining plant material or impurities, resulting in a clean and pure hemp oil.
- Step 6 - Bottling and Packaging: The final step involves bottling the hemp oil in appropriate containers, ensuring proper storage and preservation of its quality. The oil is then labeled and prepared for distribution.
Please note that hemp seed oil is different from hemp oil, also known as hemp concentrate, CBD oil, broad spectrum hemp oil or full spectrum hemp oil. As the name implies, hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant and has lower concentration of cannabidiol.
On the other hand, hemp oil is derived from the flowers, stalks and leaves of the hemp plant. The extraction process for CBD oil involves additional steps, such as decarboxylation and extraction using solvents like lipids, CO2 or ethanol, to obtain the desired cannabinoid content. Sadly, hemp seed oil and CBD oil are often confused with one another despite the differences.
Overall, the process of making hemp seed oil aims to preserve the natural properties and beneficial compounds found in hemp seeds while ensuring a high-quality and safe end product, that perhaps ironically, does not make the dog feel “high”!
Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs
Hemp seed oil offers many potential benefits for dogs which makes it a valuable addition to their wellness routine as a dietary supplement. Remember to consult your veterinarian before starting your dog on hemp oil, we always want to make sure that there are no reactions to hemp seed oil before fully introducing it into your dog's diet. Hemp seed oil could interact with other heart medication leading to bradycardia.
Some potential benefits of hemp seed oil for dogs include:
Supporting Joint Health
- Hemp seed oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which play a vital role in supporting joint health in dogs. These essential fatty acids possess anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate discomfort and promote mobility, especially in aging or active dogs. The study of Verrico, et al (2020) showed that CBD significantly decreased pain and increased mobility in patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis. I'll put at least one study to back up claims for this
Nourishing Skin and Coat
- The omega fatty acids found in hemp oil have nourishing properties for your dog's skin and coat. It is also rich in Vitamin E which is a potent antioxidant. Regular supplementation of hemp oil may help manage dryness, itchiness, and promote overall skin health, resulting in a shiny coat. The research of Ferreira, et al (2023) showed that CBD has dermal hydrating and moisturizing properties by promoting skin water retention. -I'll put at least one study to back up claims for this
Promoting Relaxation and Calmness
- Hemp contains natural compounds that work with the neurotransmitters in the nervous system, which can help promote relaxation and a sense of calm in dogs. This makes it beneficial for managing situational anxiety, noise phobias, or separation anxiety.
Enhancing Overall Well-being
- Hemp seed oil contains antioxidants that support the immune system and protect against oxidative stress. By promoting overall well-being, hemp seed oil contributes to your dog's general health and vitality.
When buying Hemp seed oil or CBD oil for your pets, always check the third party laboratory analysis of the product and see if the THC content is less than 0.03%. If your pet is under heart medication, discuss first with your veterinarian about the use of hemp seed oil as using both medications may cause bradycardia. - Athena Gaffud, DVM
Uses of Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs
Moving beyond the potential benefits for dogs, there are many ways in which you can actually use hemp seed oil with your dog. Please keep in mind that this is a supplement, not a medication, but regardless of this fact, you should always strive to ensure that your dog receives the appropriate serving size of hemp oil based on factors like weight, breed, and temperament. Your vet is the best source of information for these considerations!
Some potential ways to use hemp oil for dogs include:
- Integrating hemp oil as a dietary supplement is more common than you’d think! You can easily incorporate it into your dog's daily meals following the recommended serving guidelines provided by the manufacturer and veterinarian. Please note however that the gold standard of administration is by giving drops orally as the oil will be absorbed in the mucus membranes or the gums. Otherwise, the oil will be absorbed in the intestines if given together with meals or treats.
- Hemp oil can be applied topically in an attempt to address specific skin issues such as dryness, itchiness, or hot spots. Gently massaging the affected areas with hemp oil or using it as an ingredient in homemade skin balms or salves can provide relief.
- Given its potential calming properties, hemp oil can be used as a calming aid in stressful situations. Administering hemp oil to your dog 30-60 minutes before anxiety-inducing events like thunderstorms or vet visits can help them feel more at ease.
- Hemp oil provides numerous potential benefits for dogs, such as promoting relaxation, supporting joint health, nourishing the skin and coat, and enhancing overall well-being.
By understanding the advantages and uses of hemp oil, you can make informed decisions regarding its incorporation into your dog's wellness routine. Any changes to your dog's diet should be gradually introduced to prevent stomach upset. Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new supplements, ensuring the best care for your dog.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hemp Oil for Dogs
What are the benefits of hemp seed oil for dogs?
Hemp oil offers several potential benefits for dogs, including promoting relaxation, supporting joint health, nourishing their skin and coat, and enhancing your dog’s overall well-being.
How can hemp seed oil be used for dogs?
Hemp oil can be used as a dietary supplement, applied topically for skin and coat issues, or used as a calming aid in stressful situations.
Is hemp seed oil safe for dogs?
Yes, hemp oil is generally considered safe for dogs! That being said, it's always recommended to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new supplements to your dog's diet.